Q: How did you get started in the kitchen design industry?
A: My family owned a heating and air company, so I was around construction from an early age. While we were more mechanical, I enjoyed seeing the whole process. I went to college for interior design, and my first job was as a case designer (designing dressers, end tables.) And now I design kitchens.
Q: Why kitchens specifically?
A: I come from a big family. My dad is one of nine, and my mom is one of eight. We were always at my grandma’s house for family meals. While my grandma’s house was older, she had an open floor plan that allowed us to all be together. I knew I wanted to help create that same type of space for other people to enjoy with their families.
Q: Did you have a favorite meal/dish/dessert that your grandmother made?
A: My Grandma Betty made these incredible homemade cinnamon rolls with chocolate ganache icing. They were massive, like the size of your hand.
Q: Is your grandmother still living?
A: No, she passed away. But we still make her cinnamon rolls every Christmas as a family, which is really special for my nieces and nephews who didn’t know her in her prime.
Q: What’s one thing you couldn’t live without in your kitchen?
A: I have a scullery, or a messy kitchen, behind my kitchen. I live a hectic life, so I want things to be neat and orderly when I get home. I keep my coffee maker, my toaster, all of my fruit in the messy kitchen so I can close the pocket door when I don’t want to look at it at the end of the day.
Q: How can homeowners use that advice if they don’t have room for a messy kitchen in their own home?
A: We can use cabinetry with pocket doors to create a mini messy kitchen within the kitchen. This gives them a space to hide their everyday appliances when they want a minimal look. When more counter space is needed, the doors can stay open.
Q: What is the latest color trend in the kitchen industry?
A: Just like everything else comes back in style, we are seeing the terracotta trend from the 90s coming back in style, but with a fresh twist. These are rosy terracotta colors instead of orange.
Q: What is the hot, new trend you’re seeing in kitchen design?
A: It is all about the texture right now. Texture through wood, tile, pattern, countertops. People are over the monotone spaces. We are seeing matte countertops, stone and leather hardware, and textured woods.
Q: What is some advice you would give homeowners before designing their kitchen?
A: You can have the prettiest kitchen in the world, but if it’s not functional you have completely missed the mark. Also, you have to have a comfort level with your design team. You have to be able to trust them to make the right selections for you when you are unsure of what your vision is for the space.
Q: What does a functional kitchen look like to you?
A: This varies from family to family, but I would say overall…Gone are the days of single-person kitchens. My clients want their entire family in on the cooking process. Dad might start dinner, but then leave for a meeting while mom finishes up. My clients want their kids in the kitchen learning how to cook. And with multi-generational homes it is important to evaluate how different ages are going to utilize the space. The large refrigerators are great, but if you have small children you have to think about whether or not they’ll be able to reach their snack without constantly asking mom or dad for a yogurt. Maybe in that case we install a separate, smaller snack fridge somewhere for the kids.
Editor’s note: To see Grandma Betty’s cinnamon roll recipe, click here. However, when it comes to the chocolate ganache frosting, Tyler says, “That one is going to stay a family secret.”
Article originally appeared in May 2022